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OH absorption in the first quadrant of the Milky Way as seen by THOR

Rugel, MR and Beuther, H and Bihr, S and Wang, Y and Ott, J and Brunthaler, A and Walsh, A and Glover, SCO and Goldsmith, PF and Anderson, LD and Schneider, N and Menten, KM and Raganu, SE and Urquhart, JS and Klessen, RS and Soler, JD and Roy, N and Kainulainen, J and Henning, T and Bigiel, F and Smith, RJ and Wyrowski, F and Longmore, SN (2018) OH absorption in the first quadrant of the Milky Way as seen by THOR. In: ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS, 618 .

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201731872


Context. The hydroxyl radical (OH) is present in the diffuse molecular and partially atomic phases of the interstellar medium (ISM), but its abundance relative to hydrogen is not clear. Aims. We aim to evaluate the abundance of OH with respect to molecular hydrogen using OH absorption against cm-continuum sources over the first Galactic quadrant. Methods. This OH study is part of the HI/OH/Recombination line survey of the inner Milky Way (THOR). THOR is a Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) large program of atomic, molecular and ionized gas in the range 15 degrees <= l <= 67 degrees and vertical bar b vertical bar <= 1 degrees. It is the highest-resolution unbiased OH absorption survey to date towards this region. We combine the optical depths derived from these observations with literature (CO)-C-13(1-0) and HI observations to determine the OH abundance. Results. We detect absorption in the 1665 and 1667 MHz transitions, that is, the ``main'' hyperfine structure lines, for continuum sources stronger than F-cont >= 0.1 Jy beam(-1). OH absorption is found against approximately 15% of these continuum sources with increasing fractions for stronger sources. Most of the absorption occurs in molecular clouds that are associated with Galactic H II regions. We find OH and (CO)-C-13 gas to have similar kinematic properties. The data indicate that the OH abundance decreases with increasing hydrogen column density. The derived OH abundance with respect to the total hydrogen nuclei column density (atomic and molecular phase) is in agreement with a constant abundance for AV < 10 - 20. Towards the lowest column densities, we find sources that exhibit OH absorption but no (CO)-C-13 emission, indicating that OH is a well suited tracer of the low column density molecular gas. We also present spatially resolved OH absorption towards the prominent extended H II-region W43. Conclusions. The unbiased nature of the THOR survey opens a new window onto the gas properties of the interstellar medium. The characterization of the OH abundance over a large range of hydrogen gas column densities contributes to the understanding of OH as a molecular gas tracer and provides a starting point for future investigations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belong to EDP SCIENCES S A
Keywords: ISM: clouds; surveys; molecular data; radio lines: ISM; ISM: abundances; instrumentation: interferometers
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2018 15:25
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2018 15:25
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/61044

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